Rarely a week goes by without hearing about some teen who committed suicide or a terrible act of violence because of bullying. Bullying isn’t new. In fact, I would imagine everyone reading this was teased or bullied to the point of tears at some point in their life.
Parents have struggled for years to find ways to help their children deal with the inevitable feelings of sadness, fear or worry that often result from the behavior of bullies. You probably heard “They are just jealous.”, “Ignore her” or “Stand up to him” from your own parents.
From the start, let me clarify that I am not an expert on special needs. I have had a few graduate level classes on teaching children with special needs though, and have done quite a bit of volunteer work over the years with children in a variety of settings.
I have had a heart for children with special needs ever since I was a child. One of the things about the Church that breaks my heart is most congregations not only have not done a great job at finding a place for people with special needs, they have done almost nothing to discover and use the gifts they have.
Recently, a friend of mine introduced me to a new way of helping hurting children. She found this group after adopting an older child who had been raised in a “less than ideal” environment. Since our family does a lot of work with orphaned and abandoned children, I was interested to see how the program works.
Peter is one of my favorite apostles. Mainly, I think it is because we have very similar personalities. He is also probably one of the best examples of God taking someone from where he was. With Jesus’ love and training, God used Peter to do amazing things in His Kingdom. Peter was very likely a poorly educated fisherman, at least compared to someone like the apostle Paul. Yet Jesus took him from the fishing boat and worked with him patiently for three years. Let’s face it, Peter made some major mistakes that could have gotten him fired had the apostles been a corporation. Yet even after his denial of Jesus, Jesus still sought him out and worked with him. Just a few weeks later, Peter preached the sermon on Pentecost basically creating the first congregation of believers. Later God also used Peter to preach to Cornelius and open the church to Gentiles. Evidently, God can see past any weaknesses we have and help grow us to where he can use us.